Malden Catholic's '1A' line aces Hingham test

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Blitzkrieg.

In 1939, journalists adopted the term for “lightning war” characterizing the swift German invasion of Poland.

In 1976, the Ramones integrated the term into one of rock ‘n’ roll’s great anthems and dominated the airwaves.

In 2010 and into 2011, the same term could be applied to Malden Catholic hockey’s propensity to overwhelm and overpower their opponents.

During Tuesday night’s Super Eight matchup with No. 6 seed Hingham at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena, the top-seeded Lancers once again showcased their speed and skill in a blazing offensive display in an 8-1 win over the Harbormen.

This time MC was propelled by its second line. Garrett White contributed a four-goal game while Mike Iovanna tallied a three-point effort and two goals and Nick Roberto picked up two assists. And MC once again showed why they’re not only the most talented team in the state, but also its deepest.

“Everybody says we’re a one-line team and we’re not,” Lancers head coach Chris Serino said. “The second line is very good as well. They’re not like a second line, they’re more like a 1A.”

Perhaps more importantly for MC, their effort came after a self-admittedly lackluster effort in their Super Eight opener against Central Catholic, a 4-3 win. Still, the Lancers improved to 2-0 in tournament play while the defending Division 1A champions fell to 0-2.

Both teams got off to quick starts, with two goals scored on the opening three shots of the contest. James Gordon paced the Harbormen to a 1-0 lead with a goal less than three minutes in. The lead was short-lived as White countered less than a minute later to tie the score off an offensive zone faceoff win. It would be as close as Hingham would get to making a game out of it.

“We were very happy with our first period,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. “We went up and down with them. But once the horses were out of the barn, when they come, they come.”

The Lancers again went on one of their tears, scoring five times in the second, including three in a three-minute stretch of the period.

White started off the hit parade with his second of the game with 10:43 remaining. Ryan Fitzgerald followed about a minute later with the third MC goal on a one-timer set up by Mike Vecchione. Vecchione, the UNH commit, broke the Catholic Conference’s single-season scoring record with the helper, notching his 74th point.

Iovanna put the Lancers out to a three-goal advantage with 8:22 remaining, with assists from White and Roberto. White netted his hat trick goal with 3:53 to play in the second before Iovanna finished the floury with his second of the game to cap off the second.

“We’re not finesse, we just get pucks to the net,” White said about the play of his linemates. “That’s how we score our goals.

“They were going hard to the corners, playing the body and then we try to hit each other in open space.”

Brendan Collier added MC’s seventh tally on the power play midway through the third before White netted his fourth of the night with 3:43 remaining with assists from Iovanna and Brendan White.